Skip to content

City police officer sentenced for assaulting colleague's girlfriend

The off-duty confrontation took place in August, 2016
0
150428courthouseMP465
The Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse is pictured in this file photo. Michael Purvis/SooToday
A city police officer, found guilty last year of assaulting a female colleague's girlfriend, received a conditional discharge Wednesday.

Const. Jarrott Forsyth, 35, was placed on a probation for 12 months with a number of conditions when he appeared in a local courtroom for sentencing.

The 10-year-member of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service was convicted of an assault on the partner of fellow officer Melanie Roach after he became embroiled in an altercation with Roach

The off-duty confrontation occurred in the early morning morning hours of Aug. 27, 2016 at the women's east-end home.

The Crown had been seeking a 30-to-60-day conditional sentence, which would have been served in the community, followed by 12 months probation, while defence counsel Bruce Willson had urged the judge to give his a client an absolute or conditional discharge.

"We're obviously happy with the decision," Willson said after the judge made his ruling.

Whether or not the finding of guilt will be appealed is something he still needs to discuss with Forsyth, he added.

Willson said the whole prosecution had been physically taxing on Forsyth, who suffers from ulcerative colitis.

"He's been through the wringer," Willson said. "Once he gets over the illness I believe he will be able to go back to work."

Forsyth still faces disciplinary proceedings under the Police Services Act.

When he granted the discharge, Ontario Court Justice Richard Humphrey said such a sentence is not contrary to the public interest and the circumstances of the accused.

The Sudbury judge said that before this occurrence Forsyth, a married father of three, had for the most part lead an exemplary life, had no issues with drugs or alcohol, and fellow officers thought highly of him.

Humphrey noted that in 2015 he been promoted to investigative services, but after initially being suspended after the incident, he was transferred back to patrol duties.

Since last fall Forsyth, who was in hospital for a period of time, has been on sick leave.

The finding of guilt has been consequential to Forsyth, the judge said, pointing to the publicity, lost promotion, and Police Act charges he still faces.

Lindsay Palmer, the assault victim, indicated in her victim impact statement that she suffered from anxiety from having to relive the event and was off work for three weeks due to the emotional stress of the trial, Humphrey said.

She was injured when she stepped in between Forsyth and Roach during the altercation and he pushed her out of the way.

Palmer received minor bruising to her face and cuts to her foot in the assault, which the judge described as "toward the lower end of the scale."

Humphrey said since no weapon was involved and Forsyth has no criminal record he was not  going to impose the weapons prohibition and DNA sample sought by the Crown. 

During his probation, Forsyth must undergo counselling, have no communication with Palmer and must not be within 50 metres of her residence or workplace.

EDITOR'S NOTE: SooToday does not permit comments on court stories





About the Author: Linda Richardson

Linda Richardson is a freelance journalist who has been covering Sault Ste. Marie's courts and other local news for more than 35 years.
Read more